Winchester CC’s Rebirth in the Works

Winchester Country Club, always considered one of Donald Ross’s best creations in Greater Boston, should rank again among the best the region has to offer once two major projects are completed in 2012.

First, Ron Forse, the Pennsylvania-based architect who gained a claim to fame around these parts with his masterful restoration of Salem Country Club’s 53 bunkers for the 1995 season, is in the process of doing the same for Winchester’s 81 sand hazards. The club’s bunkers have shown their age in recent years. Not any more. Forse and WCC superintendent Dennis Houle are seeing to that. “We’re in the process of digging the new foundations for each bunker,” Houle, finishing his eighth year at WCC, said. “We hope to have the bunkers ready in the spring. This mild weather has certainly helped.”

Second, the club is in the process of installing a new five-row style irrigation system at a cost of $2 million. “Between the two projects, Winchester should look as beautiful as it ever has by mid-season,” Houle said. “We’re excited and grateful the membership is making such a commitment to the course.”

The club in some respects seemed to have put on the brakes for capital improvements after it spent millions to completely restore the clubhouse soon before the membership celebrated WCC’s centennial in 2002. Now, after a decade of standing pat to a degree, the membership is devoted to bringing Winchester back to its glory days as one of the highest regarded championship courses not only in the region but beyond. Make no mistake that the state, regional and possibly even the national,  golf organizations will soon come knocking on the door seeking WCC’s venue as a championship site.  Joe Monahan III and his Board got the project going. Incoming president Woody Cook and team will see it through to completion and enhancement the next couple years.

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